Mary Jo Bane

Interim Executive Director

Mary Jo Bane, a Project Hope board member, became Interim Executive Director in June, 2017. Mary Jo is Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she has taught and conducted research in the areas of public management, poverty, welfare, and social policy. She has served as assistant secretary for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services.

Christine Dixon

Deputy Director

Christine joined Project Hope in January 2011. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a Master's degree in Social Work from Boston University and a Bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross. She has worked in the field of Human Services for over 18 years. Her experience is primarily in working with children and families around issues of homelessness. Prior to joining Project Hope, Christine worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with families placed in hotels, motels and scattered site shelters by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Prior to this, Christine worked nearby at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, where she was the Mental Health Specialist in their Head Start and Early Head Start programs providing play therapy services to children, technical assistance to classroom teachers and training for staff and parents.

As Deputy Director, Christine works hand-in-hand with the executive director to chart Project Hope’s future growth and strategic response to an ever-increasing demand for the organization’s services. She has both internal and external responsibilities, ranging from program management and development to administration roles within the agency.

Julie Totten

Director of Development

Julie joined Project Hope in 2017. She works with Project Hope's donors and funders to help them make a difference in the lives of the families we work with. Prior to Project Hope, she founded and led Families for Depression Awareness, a national nonprofit organization that has reached millions of families across the country to help them recognize and cope with mood disorders.

Julie received her MBA from Babson College and BBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Rosa Almanzar

Director of the Family Shelter

Rosa Almanzar first came to Project Hope as a shelter resident in 1984. She lived at the shelter for 6 months with her infant son. After she moved, she began her career in Human Services. She was hired as front line staff at the Project Hope Shelter in 1988, and became the Director of the Shelter in 2008. She has completed over 2 years towards a Bachelor's degree in Human Services at UMass Boston. She has served on the Board of Homes for Families for over 20 years and also serves on the Board of the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Mission and has been an active layperson with the Little Sisters of the Assumption for many years.

Rosa has been recognized for her accomplishments in many ways over the years including being a recipient of the Neighborhood Fellows award in 1994 recognizing her extensive work in the community and a United Way Speakers award in 2004.

Donna Henderson

Director of Adult Educational Services

Donna joined Project Hope in December of 2014 as the Case Manager for the Adult Educational Services program. In 2015 she was promoted to Coordinator, and in May 2016 she became the Director of the Department. Donna has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Philosophy and a Juris Doctorate in Law.

Donna has dedicated her life to the human service field. In 1992, she became a counselor at a Domestic Violence Shelter. She worked with the legislature and community leaders to broaden the rights of domestic violence survivors. Upon graduating from Law School, She returned to the shelter as a legal advocate and worked on behalf of the women on criminal law and family law cases. She relocated to West Philadelphia and spent the next 15 years working at the Salvation Army as a Social Services Coordinator and then an Assistant Director for a 220 bed family shelter. She returned to Boston and began her service at Project Hope. She is extremely passionate about educating and empowering those she is privileged to serve.

Sr. Margaret A. Leonard, LSA

Founder and Strategic Advisor

Since her appointment in 1985, Project Hope has grown from being an Emergency Shelter serving 8 homeless families, to a multi-service center with an array of educational and economic empowerment programs serving families in the North Dorchester/Roxbury neighborhoods. In 2006 a four story "green" building was constructed on Dudley Street in Roxbury to house those programs, while the original site, a Victorian home in North Dorchester, continues to house a family shelter and children's center. Using an intensive case management model Project Hope is a pioneer in the movement to prevent homelessness from occurring.

In addition to fostering internal growth, Sister Margaret has been a catalyst in forging strategic alliances, partnerships and collaborations at local, city and state levels that create a continuum of care and support for low income families in the movement from crisis to stability. Sister Margaret has long served on the Boards of the Pine Street Inn, Homes for Families, and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

Sister Margaret has been honored for her achievements throughout her career. In 2008 she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from her alma mater, Assumption College, for her life long commitment to improving society - one person, one family and one community at a time. In 2009 she received honorary degrees from University of Massachusetts and Tufts University. She was also selected to be a Barr Fellow in 2009.

Carol Ann McAuliffe

Chief Financial Officer

Carol Ann McAuliffe joined Project Hope's Board of Directors in 2003. For the past 8 years, she served as the Treasurer of the Board. In November 2011 she joined Project Hope's staff as the Director of Finance. Prior to joining Project Hope's staff, Carol Ann worked for 20 years at Fidelity Investments. She most recently held the position of Vice President in the operations area at Fidelity. She is highly skilled in the areas of accounting, operations management, project management, new product implementation and business planning.

Carol Ann has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and an MBA from Boston University.

Seth Michaelson

Director of Housing and Case Management

Seth joined Project Hope in July of 2016. As Director of Housing and Case Management, Seth is responsible for overseeing Project Hope's Housing Support Services Department which provides eviction prevention services, housing search assistance to homeless families, and case management services to families in Dorchester and Roxbury. Seth also oversees the Case Management Program at Project Hope and supports and trains the case management staff across the agency.

Seth is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a Master's degree in Social Work from Simmons College and Bachelor's degree from Goucher College. Seth has over ten years of experience working with low-income individuals and families around issues of housing and homelessness. Prior to joining Project Hope, Seth served as the Clinical Stabilization Director for HomeStart, Inc's Cambridge office, overseeing the provision of post-placement case management services to formerly homeless individuals and families. Seth is also a Mental Health Clinician at Insight Psychotherapy specializing in life change, addiction, aging, chronic illness, financial challenges, crisis management, trauma and intellectual disabilities.


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Community Building

550 Dudley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Family Residence

45 Magnolia Street
Dorchester, MA 02125


Phone: (617) 442-1880
Email: info@prohope.org